Konrad at a glance
The Konrad mine, an abandoned iron ore mine located in the area of the city of Salzgitter is currently being converted to a repository for radioactive waste with negligible heat generation. About 90 per cent of the radioactive waste accruing in Germany is in this category; it does only contain about 1 per cent of the total radioactivity of all waste, though.
Start of investigation for suitability in 1976
Because of its favourable geology, the mine was investigated for its suitability to host a repository for waste with negligible heat generation as early as in 1976, after iron ore production had stopped as a result of non-profitability.
Exceptionally dry mine
The iron ore deposit located in a depth of 1,300 to 800 metres is twelve to eighteen metres thick. However, the natural barrier in the form of clay and marl layers lying above the mine is vital; being up to 400 metres thick, it seals the mine from groundwater. On account of the clay and marl layers, Konrad is an exceptionally dry mine, compared with other iron ore mines.
2007: Plan-approval decision for Konrad
At the beginning of 2007, a definitive plan-approval decision (licence) was granted for the construction and operation of the repository. Thus, the Konrad repository is the first facility for radioactive waste management in Germany, for which a nuclear plan-approval procedure was conducted prior to taking it into operation. The former iron ore mine is currently being converted to a repository.
According to the plan-approval decision, the Konrad repository is permitted to take up max. 303,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste with negligible heat generation. They contain approximately the activity up to five CASTOR casks (Typ V/19) with heat-generating waste.
State of 2016.04.01